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Rick Bowmer, Associated Press
Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert, left, works against Philadelphia 76ers' Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot (20) and Nerlens Noel, right, for a rebound during the second half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Dec. 29, 2016, in Salt Lake City. The Jazz won 100-83.


Phil Watson of Fansided's Hoops Habit looked at the NBA award races and Utah Jazz big man Rudy Gobert was mentioned multiple times.

First, Watson has Gobert at No. 3 in the race for Most Improved Player, stating, "Now in his fourth season, Rudy Gobert continues to make strides for the Utah Jazz."

Then, after talking about Gobert's stat line, Watson continued, "Gobert has learned what he does well and does that, taking a whopping 98.9 percent of his shots from inside of 10 feet and 85.4 percent from three feet and in. He’s made 77 dunks already and those account for 42.2 percent of his attempts."

Gobert is brought up once again in the Defensive Player of the Year category, where he is listed at No.1.

Talking about his defensive skills, Watson writes, "But the rim projection Gobert provides — he allows opponents an NBA-low 53.2 percent shooting percentage in the restricted area, per stats.nba.com — allows the Utah perimeter defenders to take chances they otherwise would not be able to take."


Three Utes, a Cougar make Sports Illustrated's NFL draft rankings

Sports Illustrated's Chris Burke ranked the top 10 players by position for the 2017 NFL draft, and four players with local ties made the list.

Jamaal Williams of BYU was the first local player mentioned, coming in at No. 7 in the running back rankings.

Talking about Williams (among others), Burke writes, "McCaffrey and Samuel are electrifying chips that a creative coach could do wonders with, while Foreman and Williams are more in the workhorse vein."

Utah's Garett Bolles came in at No. 3 on the offensive tackles list, behind only Cam Robinson of Alabama and Wisconsin's Ryan Ramczyk.

Of Bolles, Burke writes, "Bolles could go back to school, too, but he’ll be 25 in May. That’s going to cap his draft ceiling."

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Utes' guard Isaac Asiata was the next to make an appearance on the list, ranked at the No. 10 guard, while Marcus Williams was the No.7 ranked safety.


Utah Jazz move up power rankings

The Utah Jazz moved up one spot from No. 10 to No. 9 in John Schuhmann's NBA.com Power Rankings.

Speaking of Utah's success of late, he writes, "The Jazz got back on track with three wins over bad teams last week, though they needed a late three from the league's leading 3-point shooter (Joe Ingles) to beat the Lakers on Tuesday and Saturday's win over Phoenix went down to the wire as well."